Category Archives for "Property management"

Should I have someone manage my rental properties?

rental properties

Investment property comes with unavoidable risk.

This is a question I hear a lot. People want to know if they should manage their rental properties themselves or hire a property manager. In order to answer that question, I have a couple questions for you.

Do you have real estate experience and can you handle high stress situations? Managing rental properties is a stressful job. Are you the kind of person that can stay calm and level-headed in a stressful situation? Can you manage emergencies calmly? Can you keep your cool when someone is trying your patience? These are some of the attributes you need to deal with tenants on a day-to-day basis.

Tenants bring drama and have ways of attempting to control the situation. They may call in the middle of the night or make constant demands. They may try to guilt you into accepting their excuses for not paying rent or for making concessions you wouldn’t normally agree to. Can you deal with these emotions? A manager will insulate you from possible mental and emotional abuse.

Having  a manager helps with these emotions by dealing with the tenants directly. Managers create a buffer between you and the chaos. However, there are some emotions a manager can not help alleviate.

Can you handle the emotions that come with risk and property ownership?  A manager can help deal with the tenants but they cannot take out the risks involved. This is addressed in Should I be a Landlord? There will always be risk in owning rental properties. Things happen. Bad tenants happen. Property damage happens. natural disasters happen. As property managers we work to decrease many of the risks, but we cannot promise they will never happen. You have to be able to deal with the risks that come along with owning rentals.

Do you have the time to manage your properties?  We take care of the day-to-day needs allowing you to use your time in other ways. We have several successful systems in place that allow us to manage a multitude of properties seamlessly.

Are you a control freak? We see this a lot with landlords that have been in the business for years and have been managing their own properties. They want us to do everything their way, but that won’t work for us. Our systems work and to try to manage different properties using different systems or procedures would be hectic and take way too much time. When landlords decide to work with us, they need to take that leap of faith and allow us to manage them our way using our systems. If this is something you can not let go of, you may be better offer hiring an employee to help you with the day-to-day work instead of hiring a property manager.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

 

Help! My Cleveland Ohio properties have statement discrepencies

Cleveland Ohio property managers deal with very diverse properties and tenants.

Statement discrepancies happen. There are a lot of moving parts when it come to property management, and property managers throughout the Cleveland, Ohio area are working with a very diverse group of tenants and properties.

Although it may seem easy enough to add up how much you should be getting in rent and subtract the expenses; there is more to it than that. Rent doesn’t always come in at the start of the month; tenants pay late or make arrangements with partial payments. While some expenses are known at the start of the month, they can also come up throughout the month. These two factors will alter the amount you may think you should be getting.

Especially for owners that are out of town, making reference to past statements can easily get confusing. We have worked to eliminate any possible confusion. We do this by first making sure everyone is looking at the same statement. Sometimes amended statements are sent out when things change, and the problem may be that the property owner is looking at an outdated statement without realizing it.

There are two things we do to get rid of confusion. First, we will email the current statement while on the phone before trying to sort out the problem. Making sure both the property manager and the property owner are looking at the same statement is essential.

Another option we have is doing a screen share through join.me. This allows us to send you a link with a code that will allow you to see our computer screen. Then we can walk you through the statement and answer any questions while showing you were the answers are coming from on the statement.

We firmly believe that communication is the key. The better communication we have the less chance there will be for misunderstandings.

If you have rental property in the Cleveland Ohio area, please give us a call. Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

What to do if you are the victim of threats or abuse.

Abuse

Protecting yourself in the case of Abuse

This is a reality that a lot of us don’t ever want to face. The possibility that someone may hurt us whether through abuse or threats. Realty Trust Services does not condone abuse or threats of any sort between tenants, landlords and tenants, or outside persons. WE TAKE YOUR SAFETY SERIOUSLY. Here are some steps that you can take to protect yourself.

What is Abuse

The state of Ohio has a lot of laws that define what abuse is. They can be found online here:

Sexually Oriented
Ohio Laws and Rules

Abuse
Adult Protective Services

What you can do to help yourself and others

The first thing that you want to do if you are getting abused is get yourself out of the situation. IMMEDIATELY contact your local police department. You have the right to be protected. There are also several different places where you can find further assistance. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can contact them here:

Phone Number

1-800-799-7233

Website

The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Realty Trust Services wants to make certain each of our tenants feel safe and secure at their home. It is of paramount importance that after a long day of work or taking care of the kids that you come home to a safe and secure place. YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO US.

Paperwork to be filed

There are a lot of laws that cover you in the case of something happening. Here are some links to help you:

Stalking and Sexually Oriented Offenses

Domestic Violence

Juvenile Protection Forms

There are many tools and places that you can contact in the case of domestic violence, abuse, or threats. Realty Trust Services is committed to having a safe living environment for each of it’s tenants.

Why you need a GREAT collector for your property.

Collector

Why you need a Collector

When you first got into real estate investment it may not have occurred to you that it wasn’t always going to be passive or that you would have to be a collector. Real people require real attention and too often they want to make their problems, your problems. Collecting on your investment can be difficult and at times emotionally taxing. Part of what we do here at Realty Trust Services is take care of the following:

1.) Do the collections
2.) Making the phone calls
3.) Making the 3 Day Notices

We take away the emotions of it while also providing the technical and legal expertise needed. We remove the time consuming, form filing, and give you peace of mind.

Talk to us. We are available to answer your questions about being a collector and what we can do for you. Give us a call at 440-227-7300. You’ll be glad you did.

What do you do to lease my house?

We offer a complete marketing program to reduce vacancies.

 

A common question we hear is “what do you do to lease my house?” There are a lot of things we do to market houses, and I could provide you with an extensive list. However, if you want to see what we do to lease houses, go to our website and look up a listing. Then go to Google and search for that property.

You will find the listing is everywhere. We do something with our listings called syndication, which gets it out to 30 to 40 websites right away and it expands from there. We do everything we can to ensure each and every listing is as visible as possible. In addition to syndication, we utilize the MLS listing.

Complete Marketing: We believe in what we call complete marketing. This approach includes pre-market a property if the tenant is still living there, but will be moving. Property marketing includes videos, panoramic images, and 3-D tours. We get as much positive media out there as we can until the property is rented. Approximately 30% of the time, we have the property rented before the previous tenant is moved out. Creating the 3-D tours offers a huge advantage because once created, we can re-use it later during pre-marketing. This can dramatically reduce vacancy times.

We also work to improve our understanding of how people perceive the property. This gives us the opportunity to make the changes needed to make the property more appealing to a broader range of individuals. We are consistently looking at what is and is not working to reduce vacancies and provide better overall service.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

How much rental deposit do you collect?

People often ask if we collect a rental deposit of the first and last month’s rent. We don’t, and I’ll explain why.

Collecting the first and last month’s rent does not provide a better safety net. The safety net you have is what money is left. That is the rental deposit. There are many key points you need to know about deposits explained in What Cleveland Ohio landlords need to know about large deposits and deposit accounting. Be sure to read about how to handle large deposits.

We collect the first month’s rent and a rental deposit. This is pretty normal in the business. Sometimes, we run specials with lower deposit amounts for those that qualify. With the property owners permission. Qualifying for a reduced deposit as based on the background check. The goal is to get better tenants that will act more responsibly towards the property. Tenants who will take ownership in the look and condition of the home.

The tenant is responsible for damages regardless of how much of a deposit we collect. When damages exceed the deposit, the tenant is responsible. I recommend choosing a quality tenant over a large deposit. Too often, landlords think a large deposit is the best protection. Careful screening can reduce damages and eviction costs.

The goal is to get good tenants that won’t damage the house or stop paying their rent. We make sure to fill properties, and your business remains profitable,  Although sometimes evictions are unavoidable, careful screening reduces the risk. If you have any questions about our policy towards rental deposits, please ask.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

How do You Ensure that You Find the Best Tenants?

Finding the diamond in the rough with tenant screening.

How do we ensure we are finding you the best tenants for the property?  That is a great question because bad tenants can cost you a lot of money. They can damage the property, not pay their rent, and force us to evict them. All of which cost a lot of money and lead to vacancies.

  1. Marketing. The first thing we do is market the property. By actively marketing the property, we can get a selection of applicants. This gives us the opportunity to choose the best tenants. Then  we screen all applicants.
  2. Screening. When someone is interested in renting a property, we have them fill out an application. We then screen out the ones you do not want living in your property. We have an extensive screening checklist. You can learn more about it by going to 7 Steps to Flawless Tenant Screening.
  3. Landlord verification. Although many landlords will debate the merits of landlord verifications, we believe they are an essential part of the screening process when available. Go to Problems with Landlord Verification in Screening and the Solution to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of landlord verification, but more importantly, how we mitigate the disadvantages when screening tenants.
  4. Manual checks. Because we take the screening process very seriously, we manually check all local criminal and eviction records. Why is it so important to check criminal and eviction records manually?   Another great question. You can follow the link to read more extensively on the topic. In short, we learned through experience that national background check data bases are imperfect. While they are still a useful tool, they are not sufficient to stand on their own. We also check with the local courts for any recent filings or ones missed.

Tenant screening and marketing work in combination to ensure we have a selection of good tenants to choose from for each and every property we manage, We have several videos and blog posts available on the many things we do to market properties, but a good one to start with is My home is not leasing – some tips for better lease marketing.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

Review of top 5 Cleveland Oh property managers

We want to be your Cleveland Oh area property management company.

When choosing a property management company, it is really important to find the one that will be the best fit for you and your needs. There are many factors that can vary from one company to the next. For example, maintenance, fees, payment policies, management systems, etc. There is no right or wrong way to do things, but there are pros and cons to each. Only you can decide which property managers are best for you.

Clearly, we hope to be able to serve you and meet your needs. However, here are some other property management companies serving the Cleveland, Ohio area that you may want to look into.

  1. David Terbeek with RE/MAX. I have had many interactions with David and found him to be very professional. He is a member of National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), which is an industry standard. Being a part of that indicates a level of professionalism and learning.
  2. Seller’s Realty – property management division. I have heard no complaints about them. Although I cannot believe everything I hear, I wouldn’t recommend a company that I consistently heard complaints or very negative reviews about. That is not the case with Seller’s Realty; they know what they are doing.
  3. Howard Hannah Property Management. While Howard Hannah is obviously not a new company, they are fairly new to the property management industry. However, they have a solid platform, which is being managed by Jared Zack.
  4. Cleveland Property Management. The are one of the oldest big company’s in the Cleveland area. I heard the sold part of the company, but they are still in property management. They are experienced and professional. I have not heard any complaints about them. In general, they are a solid choice.
  5. Bob Kollet with RE/MAX. Bob is a good person. He manages a small portfolio, and has good experience for a small company.

If you are just starting to look around for a property management company, be sure to spend some time reading my blog and watching videos. I do my best to answer all the most common questions we get asked. However, don’t hesitate to look at some of these options as well. Also, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We would be happy to sit down with you and answer all your questions.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

How many years of property management experience do you have?

Realty Trust Services

Our three company values are transparency, empathy, and education

We get asked how many years of property management experience we have? This is a good question, but it isn’t the best question you should be asking.

For us, we have roughly 45 years of combined experience, but that isn’t the best figure because a good majority of people who say they have 30 years experience, don’t actually have 30 years of experience; they have one year of experience repeated 30 times.

The best question is “are people growing and improving to become better at their jobs?”

New technology doesn’t replace good service, but it does combine with service to create a mindset and intention for growth. This creates an atmosphere that promotes better customer service. In addition to personal growth, we consistency work to utilize the best possible options in new technology.

The three values of our company are transparency, empathy, and education. Education is a huge part of this and a significant focus here. We believe education allows people to grow quickly. We read a book a month and increase our experience by learning from others. This makes us wiser and better at serving. It makes us more efficient at doing our jobs.

Another significant focus for us is on systems. How can we make it better? That is always the question we are asking ourselves in every area of the business. We track everything we do, and when something doesn’t go right, which happens, we discuss it to see how we can make it better.

Nothing is ever perfect, but we can always strive for better.

Our goal is always to deliver peace of mind for all the stakeholders. That includes the property owners, us, the tenants, and the neighbors; anyone and everyone impacted by the properties.

We consistently strive to make this company’s experience more than the years.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

How do you protect me from property damage?

Learn the steps we take to protect you from property damage.

We are often asked by property owners how we protect them from property damage. This is an important question because property damages can get very expensive very quickly. Costs come from repairing the damages, and from the time the property has to remain empty.

There are two things we do for all our property owners to protect them from damages.

  1. Collect a deposit. We collect a deposit from each tenant before they move in. The deposit is held to help cover the cost of any damages to the property. After screening, if we think the person is risky, we may offer them a lease with a higher deposit. We may collect a double, triple, or even quadruple deposit. In an upcoming post, I will discuss how much of a deposit we collect and why.
  2. Tenant screening. The best thing we do to protect property owners is by carefully screening every tenant. We have a screening process that we go through with every tenant application we receive, and it works. If we can provide better tenants, there is a lower risk of property damage. We foster good will with our tenants by encouraging and maintaining a positive relationship with the tenants. Staying in contact with tenants helps, and so does giving landlords regular updates. You can learn more about our screening process from our post 7 Steps to a Flawless Tenant Screening.
  3. Inspections. we also suggest regular inspections. They allow us to identify problems earlier than we would waiting until the tenant moves out. This allows us to discover problems such as water leaks before they cause significant damage. Learn more about what your options are when it comes to inspections with How many times do you inspect my property

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

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